Guild’s platform for communities and networking delivers 500% year on year growth

Guild is a platform for professional communities and networking. Guild uses realtime technologies to power a seamless user experience based on instant communication and a range of innovative features.

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Size:

Scale-up

Industry:

Communication Services / SaaS

Use case:

Live chat and messaging

The problem
The platform has to be reliable, deliver outstanding user experiences, and support innovation

CEO and Founder, Ashley Friedlein had a clear vision for Guild. He wanted to create a different kind of professional community and networking experience - one designed specifically to empower its users and group hosts, not simply harvest data to sell advertising.

That would mean combining the live experience and simplicity of consumer messaging apps with features and design that reflect how professionals really work and communicate.

He knew, however, that building a fully featured product at launch was an unrealistic ambition - innovative features and experiences would be added over time, based on the real experiences and needs of users.

The crucial consideration during initial development - alongside clear profiles, privacy controls and tailored notifications - would be a seamless live experience for users, powered by reliable realtime infrastructure.

Given that the realtime infrastructure would be fundamental to Guild’s communication platform, Friedlein set out to identify the right partner. A partner that would help Guild build a differentiated professional community and networking experience with features to match its innovation ambitions.

5,000+

Guild groups and communities

500% growth

Since start of 2020

100,000+ users

By end of 2022

Traditional ‘chat-in-a-box’ messaging apps are quite prescriptive. For Guild’s community and networking features, we wanted realtime infrastructure that could expand standard chat functionality. Using Ably infrastructure from the start of our product development process meant we could be sure we weren’t going to be constrained when it came to implementing innovative features. Ably’s enterprise functionality allows us to tailor realtime innovations specific to the use cases of our different customer groups.

Ashley FriedleinCEO & Founder
The solution
Realtime for a rapid launch and an evolving user experience

Friedlein’s vision for Guild meant he needed a realtime partner able to support some quite specific demands.

From the word ‘go’, realtime needed to support a seamless experience for all users - through instant communication, regardless of device, network quality and location.

But it would also need to enable rapid time to market and make adding innovative new features over time quick and easy. On top of that, scalability and reliability would be crucial to maintaining business-critical communication and collaboration across professional networks.

Ably was selected as the only realtime vendor able to meet those needs - its globally distributed infrastructure didn’t just provide the fundamentals but also the flexibility to innovate, with tools and integrations to accelerate product development. 

No-code integration with Ably’s realtime platform was completed within weeks, with help from Ably support teams, and Guild was live just a few weeks later following testing.

5,000+

Guild groups and communities

500% growth

Since start of 2020

100,000+ users

By end of 2022

The results
A realtime partner for innovation and rapid growth

Ably ticked all the right boxes from the beginning. Simple, API-based integration cut time to market by many months and reduced development cost by an estimated £75,000+. 

Ably has consistently delivered on performance ever since. Global latencies are reliably below 65ms, regardless of network quality - which powers a seamless live experience for users everywhere.

In addition, Ably plays a key role in ensuring Guild lives up to Friedlein’s vision of a productive and relevant professional community and networking platform that works how its members do. Guaranteed message ordering and delivery ensure users never miss a message, while event-based triggers underpin tailored notifications for users and groups.

Crucially, Ably’s interoperability across protocols, clouds and services mean Guild’s live experiences work on any device, and enable easy integration with a huge range of third party solutions. That has proven a real innovation accelerator for Guild, allowing it to constantly roll out new features and live up to its USP of offering tailored community and networking experiences depending on the needs of individual groups.

Since launch, Guild has enjoyed stellar growth - up to 500% year on year - and amassed an impressive client list, from the NEU, to CIPD, to the University of Cambridge.

User feedback speaks for itself:

“Guild provides us with a safe space to open up discussions around sensitive topics. It’s been simple to set up and simple to use for our members, so we can concentrate on the important conversations and supporting one another.” Javed Thomas, co-founder Race Equality Matters and founder of The Collaboratory.

Learn more about Guild's community and networking platform

5,000+

Guild groups and communities

500% growth

Since start of 2020

100,000+ users

By end of 2022